Reinvention and transformation collide at Tulane University’s Goldring/Woldenberg Complex

New Orleans, LA, USA

Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business is home to nearly 3,000 students in programs spanning the globe. The renovation and expansion of the Goldring/Woldenberg Business Complex responds to explosive growth in the number of students and the evolving pedagogy of business schools. It transforms the Freeman’s two central buildings — built seventeen years apart with different floor-to-floor heights — into a vibrant center for collaboration and study.

215 feet
undulating glass curtainwall

The site plan shows relationship between undulating glass wall and heritage live oak trees.

At home amid Louisiana’s quintessential live oaks

The new complex is nestled within a grove of heritage live oaks and features ten glass-walled classrooms, twenty faculty offices, more than thirty collaborative areas, a financial analysis lab, and a new-venture incubator. Inspired by the live oaks’ sweeping forms, the building’s four-story glass curtain undulates in curves that evoke waves — a visual connection to Tulane’s beloved Green Wave.

Stretching four stories to the sky, the curved side of the building unfolds in waves among the live oaks. 

A resilient community takes root 

Reflecting Freeman’s innovative educational model, next-generation sustainability measures are the foundation of the new complex. A cool roof and sunshades at each level keep the temperature comfortable in New Orleans’s humid climate. The glass curtain’s thin concave shape is harmonious with the trees and boosts energy efficiency. Daily energy use is customized through occupancy sensors on light fixtures and HVAC controls. Window patterning supports the area’s rich ecosystem by reducing bird collisions. 

The centrally located atrium is an active lobby filled with students and provides an abundance of natural light.

A vibrant hub of student life, the Commons invites connection and collaboration. 

“I see this building as creating a major shift in the culture of the Freeman School, and that shift will come about through how people engage and interact.”  — John Clarke, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Executive Education 

Active-learning classrooms with integrated technology and flexible furnishings can be arranged to meet diverse learning objectives. 

Natural light permeates throughout the building and reinforces the clean, white tones of student-study areas, providing an uplifting academic experience.

More About the Project

Principal Collaborators

  • Architect of Record: Manning Architects
  • Structural Engineer: Harmon Engineering and Contracting Co., Inc.
  • MEP: GVA Engineering

Project Information

  • Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  • Client: Tulane University
  • Size: 92,091 sq. ft. / 8,547 sq. m.
  • Completion: 2018
  • Certification: LEED Gold
  • Firm Role: Design Architect

Awards

  • 2019, Merit Award Architecture, AIA New Orleans
  • 2019, Merit Award Architecture, AIA Louisiana
  • 2019, Merit Award Architecture, AIA Connecticut
  • 2020, IES Illumination Award (Interior Lighting), IES Illumination Award
  • 2020, Interior Lighting Award, Architect's Newspaper Best of Design Award
  • Principal Project Photography: Jeff Goldberg/ESTO

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